Volume 14, Issue 10 (October, 2010)

Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Indian Language Translation of Neuroscience for Kids
4. Into the MRI
5. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in San Diego
6. USA Science & Engineering Festival
7. 2011 Neuro Film Festival
8. Exploravision Competition
9. Media Alert
10. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
11. Support Neuroscience for Kids
12. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in September including:

A. September Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Winter Olympics: Dangerous Games
In September, 8 new figures were added and 21 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for October is not one, but two Web sites from two artists, Pablo Garcia Lopez and Elizabeth Jameson at:


Lopez and Jameson blend art and science, especially neuroscience, into their work. Lopez, who lives in Madrid, Spain, has a PhD in neuroscience and a Master of Fine Arts degree. He uses photography, collage, sculpture, video and dance to explore the functions of the brain. Jameson is a lawyer who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991. Jameson uses magnetic resonance images in her "Brain Series" to create portraits of herself and other people to understand neuroanatomy and neurological disease.

Both Web sites have online galleries of the artists' work. Perhaps this work will inspire you as you prepare for the Neuroscience for Kids Art Contest that starts next month.


As I promised in last month's newsletter, I now report about the Indian language translation of Neuroscience for Kids. A kind newsletter reader has informed me that the translated Web site is written in Telugu, the third most spoken language in India (the two main languages are Hindi and Bengali). Telugu is used mainly by 70 million people in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The translation was made by Dr. V. Srinivasa Chakravarthy, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biotechnology at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India.


Last month my dad looked at his own brain! Well, an image of his brain. He had his brain scanned in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. In 2002, he had an MRI done, but he went in for another one last month for an unrelated problem. Here is a description of the experience in his own words:

"I was ushered to a room just outside of the MRI machine and was told to remove everything from my pockets. The technician was especially concerned about anything metal such as my watch and wedding ring. I mentioned that I still had clips in my chest from open heart surgery 22 years ago, but the technician said these would not be a problem. The technician also asked if I was claustrophobic. I said that I was not claustrophobic, but I wonder what she would have done if I said that I was.

"After I emptied my pockets, I was taken into the room with the MRI and asked to lie down on a thin table that would take me into the machine. I said that I sometimes get dizzy and lose my balance if I lie straight on my back so the technician helped adjust my body by placing a support under my knees that somehow raised my head ever so slightly. The technician folded my arms across my chest and told me that under no circumstances should I move.

"After ear plugs were placed in my ears, I was rolled gradually into the large tube of the machine where I kept absolutely still. Suddenly, a loud horn blasted away for several long hoots. The horn stopped momentarily, but then another sound like thunder came on several times. This was followed by a machine gun-like, rapid fire noise and a variety of other horrendous sounds. I did not move a muscle even though I had a terrible itch on my nose. Somehow I endured it.

"Finally, the noise stopped and I was rolled out of the tube. But my experience did not end there. They wanted to do a second scan this time after an injection of "gadolinium." (Gadolinium is sometimes used during an MRI to get a better image.) However, they had some trouble finding a vein for the injection. In fact, they poked me with a needle 4 or 5 times before they succeeded in injecting me.

"Then it was back into the MRI machine for a second scan where I was attacked by the same terrible noises for another seven minutes. I was finally rolled out of the machine, but had to rest for a few minutes before I attempted to get up. But I recovered quickly and was able to drive home without a problem."


I am happy to say that the MRI did not show any problems with my Dad's brain. My Dad sent me a copy of the images from the test. Now I can see what makes him tick!


If you live in San Diego, get ready for an invasion of 40,000 neuroscientists! That's because the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting will be held in the San Diego Convention Center from November 12 to November 15. For more information about the meeting, see:


The USA Science & Engineering Festival will take place October 10-24, 2010, in Washington, D.C. On October 23 and 24 from 10 am to 5:30 pm, you can visit more than 1500 exhibits and 50 stage shows at the National Mall...and the event is FREE!

The festival has activities for people of all ages. Several of the exhibits with a neuroscience theme include:

"The Science Inside You" by American Association for the Advancement of Science

"Are You Smarter Than A Monkey?" by American Society of Primatologists

"Getting On Your Nerves" by Bowdoin College

"What's in Your head?" by Columbia University

"Biosignals! Synchronizing Rhythms in the Human Body" by Dartmouth College

"Are You Smarter Than An Ape or a Dog?" by Duke University

"Making Neuroscience Fun" by Johns Hopkins University

"Solving the Genetic Puzzle of Autism" by MindSpec

"The Universe Between Your Ears: Explore Your Brain" by Society for Neuroscience

"Fun With Illusions" by University of Maryland

For more information about the festival and a list of all the exhibits, see:


The American Academy of Neurology is sponsoring the 2011 Neuro Film Festival. You can participate by entering a short video (maximum length, 5 minutes) about a brain disorder. The winner will receive $1,000 and a trip to Hawaii! Read about the rules and requirements at:


Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association have teamed up to create the Exploravision Award. The competition is open to kindergarten to grade 12 students and according to the award Web site, "encourages K-12 students of all interest, skill and ability levels to create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science." Entries are due February 2, 2011. For more details about the program, see:


A. "The New Drug Crisis: Addiction by Prescription" by Jeffrey Kluger (TIME magazine, September 13, 2010).

B. The museum exhibit called "Play!" opens at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, TX, on October 9, 2010.

C. "Autism's First Child" by John Donvan and Caren Zucker (The Atlantic magazine, October, 2010) discusses Donald Gray Triplett, who in 1943 was the first person ever to be diagnosed with autism.

D. "Desperate for an Autism Cure" by Nancy Shute (Scientific American, October, 2010).


A. "Brainiac" is the name of one of Superman's enemies. The character was introduced in a comic published in July, 1958.

B. The word "paralysis" comes from a Greek word meaning "to loosen."

C. The preying mantis belongs to the mantid species. Many of the mantid species do not have ears. In half of the 2,000 mantid species, the male has only one ear (in the center of his chest) and the female does not have an ear at all. (Source: Grice, G., The Red Hourglass. Lives of the Predators, New York: Dell Publishing, 1998)

D. October is Brain Injury Awareness Month, Depression & Mental Health Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Health Literacy Month, and Spina Bifida Prevention Month.

E. A horse sleeps only three hours each day.


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Help Neuroscience for Kids


To remove yourself from this mailing list and stop your subscription to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter, send e-mail to Dr. Eric H. Chudler at:

Your comments and suggestions about this newsletter and the "Neuroscience for Kids" web site are always welcome. If there are any special topics that you would like to see on the web site, just let me know.


Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.